What if you couldn't ______?

I hear people complain a lot. They hate running/exercising/sweating and the list goes on. I want you to know, I lose a lot of respect for healthy people who say those kinds of things. I’m not one who thinks you have to do marathons or tough mudders in order to be tough, because I understand that not everyone has those goals, and not everyone enjoys those things. I am however, someone who really doesn’t understand how you can go through your life and never feel what its like to be out of breath or push your body. I look forward to my workouts every single day, not because I am super human or because they aren’t hard for me. It is actually quite the opposite. I love pushing myself to the limit, and using my body every single day. Who knows how long I will be able to train for ultra marathons or even worse, not train at all. I know that sounds morbid, but my biggest fear is the thought of losing my ability to run and jump. What triggered the idea for this blog was a trip to Kroger a while back. I was walking in and noticed a man in a wheel chair outside the doors. He was alone and he was missing both of his legs.  It made me feel so heavy inside. I cried in the car on the way home (I guess I might just be an emotional person, I don’t know). The entire time I was shopping, there was a tornado of thoughts going through my head. I started to get angry. How can people not appreciate their legs or even more so, how do people choose to hurt a healthy body? I know that I may look at this from a different point of view that others, but this topic gets me more revved up than any other.

I looked over at Russ on the way home that day, and all I could think about was how often we take the simple act of walking for granted. God gave us these miraculous bodies, that are capable of withstanding unthinkable feats (think 130 mile races through the desert), and most people waste them and don’t appreciate them. I can promise you, that you would never regret getting off the couch and being active. No one ever does. I know this is kind of a rant, and I promise I don’t mean to sound insensitive. I really do understand that people go through times in life where they have a reason not to be active, but most people don’t have an excuse. We all have stories, and they are all different, but think about all the people in your life that never stop fighting. Be that person to someone else. The people in your life make a huge impact, don't take that for granted.  Pick people who lift you up, encourage you, and remind you of all of the things you are capable of.

Now, I would never rant like this, and not give you some advice. I hate people who complain and never offer solutions. So here is some unsolicited advice! Haha

1.     Surround yourself with people who are good for your soul. I am a firm believer in this. I try to have people in my life that inspire me, and don’t let me get away with slacking. Not just in exercise, but in everything. Your moral compass is pretty dang important, and you should have people in your life that don’t let you get away with being cruel, gossiping, settling. The best friends you will ever have, are the honest ones. Those are the ones that care about you the most, not the Yes man or the enabler.

2.     Just remember that the person you look up to in the “fitness world” loves cookies as much as you do. If they say they don’t, then they are lying. No one has real super powers against the sweets (Just ask Bailey). We develop mental toughness, because every single day we don’t give into our excuses. For example: I have a real addiction to Justin’s Hazelnut Butter. I could eat a jar in two days. I have a very hard time controlling the spoon. So guess what? I quite buying it. I realized that it was getting in the way of my goals, and food is something we use to fuel our bodies. It shouldn’t be rewards for everything. There should be balance. Disclaimer: If you binge on a regular basis, your diet does not have balance.

3.      Let me tell you, everyone has days where it is easier to lay in bed. I could have done it this morning. I got up at 4:40 AM to make sure I got my run/lift in and enjoyed it with two of my favorite people in the world. Reminder: this is why it’s important to have a good support system.  

4.     Write down your training plan. I know this sounds really simple, but for me it is a real game changer. When I write my workout schedule a week or even months in advance, it really keeps me laser focused. When I tell someone I had to get up early to get my workout in, or do it at 9:00 PM, people never fail to ask me why I didn’t just skip a day. Well that’s because once I write down my plan, it is written in blood. I will not stray from it, unless I have surgery haha. Anyway, right now I have every workout planned until the end of September. If you don’t plan, it is easy to give yourself excuses.

5.     Something that has really changed my perspective is the WHY behind my training. I train because I love the process of training. I study my average heart rate, my pace changes every mile, and other things that are just really nerdy. I am passionate about my training and accumulating as much knowledge as I can. This is why it never gets old to me. I love the process more than the “physical progress”. I don’t want to quit running, even if I don’t lose a pound on the scale, because the meaning is much deeper in my life.

6.     It is free therapy. A lot of people I talk to, just seem to be in ruts. Something bad has just happened to them, or they are really busy. Just to let you in on a little secret of mine, I exercise more when I am upset. It is what keeps me sane, my free therapy session if you will. At the tail end of my Masters, I would joke with people that if I wasn’t exercising I would probably be on America’s Most Wanted list. Just trust me on this. It will make all of your problems seem smaller/ you will be too tired to even worry about them anymore.

I promise this blog wasn’t meant to offend anyone. I say all of this out of love and out of my own self-reflection. We all take things for granted from time to time, but I think it is so vital to our lives to appreciate the one thing in this world that we have control over, which is our body.

P.S. If you want to get even more inspired, go watch the special olympics and watch what people are capable of that aren't given healthy bodies. It just shows you how much a persons heart matters. 

With so much love,


Blaine MenkeComment